General, Articles

November 4th, 2019

Lawsuit against Harvard intensifies focus on role of college mental health services

By Janine Weisman

One in four members of Harvard University’s Class of 2023 is Asian-American, according to demographic statistics on the university’s website. So, a recent report by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting that found six of at least nine Harvard undergraduates who died by suicide between the years 2007 and 2017 were of Asian descent should raise an alarm for college mental health services. One of those suicides was Luke Tang, who took his own life in a campus residence hall at the start of his sophomore year in September 2015. Tang’s father Wendell Tang, M.D., filed a lawsuit against [More]

October 9th, 2019

New England’s last holdout to limit clawbacks finally passes law

By Janine Weisman

Health insurance companies now have a 12-month window to retroactively deny claims they already paid for mental health and substance abuse services in Massachusetts. Language imposing the time restriction on so-called clawbacks was included in the final fiscal 2020 state budget signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker on July 31. The budget incorporated language from bills in the Senate and House of Representatives that sought to end what mental health providers have long considered an unfair business practice. No time limit for clawbacks previously existed in Massachusetts, while other New England states had laws requiring health plans to initiate [More]

May 28th, 2019

Vermont’s medication assisted treatment program shows encouraging results

By Catherine Robertson Souter

For the first time since 1918 during WWI when a flu pandemic swept the nation, life expectancy in the U.S. has dropped for each of the last three years. Suicide and drug overdose are edging the country downward. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 72,000 drug overdoses in 2017, up from 63,000 in 2016. New England has seen its fair share of the crisis, with New Hampshire among the worst in the county with a rate of 34 deaths per 100,000 in 2017, more than double the national average of 14.6. Vermont saw a rate of 20 [More]